‘When I read Mind Chi I said to myself, “It’s about time.” Mind Chi takes contemporary knowledge of the brain, the best thinking from Psychology and the wisdom of the ages and packages these in a format that allows access to their power. An eight minute daily dose of Mind Chi may not cure warts but it will certainly improve vitality, reduce stress and allow us to see the many blessings of life more clearly.’
Stephen C. Lundin PhD, author of the ﬁve million copy best-selling
‘Leonardo had it, Edison had it, and now you can have it too. “It” is Mind Chi. This powerful book will show you how to cultivate, integrate and apply your mental energy for breakthrough performance in all walks of life.’
Michael J Gelb, author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Innovate Like Edison
‘Mind Chi is a novel, interesting, and practical way to boost your brainpower. Eight minutes a day is a worthwhile investment for anyone who’s serious about personal development, well-being and happiness.’
Dr Karl Albrecht, executive advisor, futurist, speaker, and author of
Practical Intelligence: the Art and Science of Common Sense
‘Although there are many parts of Mind Chi that are attractive to me, I believe you teach people how to conquer the No. 1 cause for forgetting: distraction. Eight minutes of uninterrupted focus not only begins the day but sets the tempo for each productive hour. Before the end of the day, you will be amazed at how much you have accomplished’
Scott Hagwood, author of Memory Power
‘Vanda North and Richard Israel have crafted a tour de force that will transform lives. With passion, compassion, humour, and discipline, their calling is evidenced as a call to action … that your destiny matters. Buy this book, live its contents, and help others awaken to its dazzling delights!’
Dilip Mukerjea, author of titles in The Creative Brain series
‘Mind Chi gives you techniques you can immediately practice for long-lasting results.’
Conni Gordon, best-selling author of the 4-step Instant Art Method
‘Mind Chi is a leading edge compendium of practical exercises to optimise your mental energy. Applying the techniques on a regular basis gives the reader the potential to reach their goals and maximise the quality of their life as well as achieve greater levels of work performance.’
Helen Whitten, Managing Director of Positiveworks, UK, executive coach and author of Cognitive-behavioural Coaching Techniques for Dummies and Emotional Healing for Dummies
‘This easy-to-read book offers real tips to help you make remarkable changes. Discover how to replace negative thinking, sharpen your mental acuity, strengthen your concentration and increase your energy. Mix and match the 50 Mind Chi Strategies for Success to create your own inner harmony. Control the mind and become the master of your destiny.’
Margo Berman, Florida International University professor and author of Street-Smart Advertising and The Brains Behind Great Ad Campaigns
‘I am delighted to recommend Richard Israel and Vanda North’s Mind Chi Program. I have known Richard personally for years and I can attest to his ability to ﬁnd ideas ‘on the cusp’ and translate those ideas into workable programs. Mind Chi is a long overdue program which has ﬁnally arrived! I hope that you ﬁnd it as helpful as I did.
Bernie Cleveland, PhD, CEO, TeacherOnlineEducation.com
‘Great Insight… In a challenging world Richard Israel and Vanda North’s Mind Chi paves the way to be smarter about tackling life in the workplace. Mind Chi enables the readers to step outside themselves and see what they really need to see.’
Jeffrey Meshel, author of One Phone Call Away, Secrets of a Master Networker
‘Not only have both Vanda and Richard successfully applied Mind Chi personally, but now they can transfer this to professionals and organizations for revolutionary success!’
Jamie Nast, author of Idea Mapping
Re-wire Your Brain in 8 Minutes a Day
For Sarah Sutton, whose extraordinary level of commitment to this project is unprecedented
Richard Israel and Vanda North
This edition ﬁrst published 2009 © Richard Israel and Vanda North 2009
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Set in 10pt Meridien by Sparks, Oxford – www.sparkspublishing.com Printed and bound in Spain by Grafos SA, Barcelona
Who wrote Mind Chi?
Richard Israel is a consultant, speaker, trainer and author. Richard has forty years of experience and international expertise in sales training, leadership development, creativity, and memory training with a unique skill of applying cognitive science. As a pioneer in creating ‘brain capital’ he is sought after around the world. His work has increased the intellectual capital within organizations and enabled teams and individuals to achieve optimal performance. More than one and a half million people across four continents have been educated utilizing his material. He has consulted with companies in the retail, hospitality, airline, manufacturing and service industries, coaching them to achieve increased business results and discover new business opportunities.
Vanda North’s life purpose is to assist people to rediscover and enhance their natural joy quotient. Her life has been dedicated to this end: from TV shows, to books, to setting up a global network, to training tens of thousands of people to living a joyous life! She concentrates on: improving stress management through ‘Happiness & Wellness’ classes; enabling learning through accelerated learning techniques, maps, memory, speedy-reading and info-intake methods (for both learning abled and ‘dis’-abled); developing self leadership with communication, commitment and contentment; and now Mind Chi. Vanda travels the world delivering seminars and does adventure trekking, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, to raise money for her local hospital.
Also by the authors
Brain$ell, Tony Buzan and Richard Israel The BrainSmart Leader, Tony Buzan, Tony Dottino and Richard Israel Business mapping, Vanda North Get Ahead: Map your way to success, Vanda North Get Ahead: Teen Learning Success, Vanda North Grass Roots Leader: The brainsmart revolution in business, Tony Buzan, Tony Dottino and Richard Israel How to Think Creatively: Using the ‘TILS’ 4-step technique, Conni Gordon and Richard Israel Joy Journey, Vanda North Sales Genius, Tony Buzan and Richard Israel Shifting Gears: How you can succeed and lead in the new workplace – The technology of success, Susan Ford Collins and Richard Israel The Spark, Vanda North SuperSellf, Tony Buzan and Richard Israel The Vision, Julianne Crane and Richard Israel Your Mind at Work: Developing self-knowledge for business success, Richard Israel, Helen Whitten and Cliff Shaffran
Lois Feinberg for her love and understanding throughout the Mind Chi project; Susan Ford Collins for her counseling and partnership in marketing break-through concepts through the years; Conni Gordon for her wisdom and encouragement; Tony Dottino for sharing the vision in the important work we do; Kathy Shurte for her support from day one of the Mind Chi project in the United States; Lana Israel my constant cheerleader and inspiration; Helen Whitten for her continued belief in our work together; Gwen Carden who is the best PR agent one could wish for; Stu Elliott for his unconditional friendship; Dilip Mukerjea, the Superbrain and my model of the ‘expert strategy’; Leon Cai for his support and hard work in marketing my materials in China; and of course my mother, Rita Israel who made this all possible. I would also like to thank all the ‘brain stars’, too numerous to mention in South East Asia, South Africa, Europe and North America who participated in the Mind Chi pilots that made Mind Chi possible.
A big round of applause goes to all those who helped me to tweak Mind Chi by participating in my pilot phases, some of you were in workshops and some by email, those who were especially helpful were: Kate Boyd; Angelo Lam; Adrian Woods; Anne Jones; Maria De Ionno; Tony Muir; Kirsty Mawer; Pat Pollman; Alan Adair; Mike Collins and Bettina Jetter, I thank you enormously. Then there were my readers: Caro Ayre; Kim Cordes and Bob Chapman. You fought your way through many different versions, valiantly and honestly making suggestions for improvement. I hope you see the fruits of your labours and are proud of the result. Then I want to say a general thank you to everyone who has shared gems with me over the years that have now become a part of who I am and how I function. There is not room to name you all and there is always a special place of gratitude in my heart for you. And most importantly, those who have had to be by my side, my family and co-author! You have been my rock, my star, my joy, my sounding board and my sustenance. You are deeply appreciated.
From both of us:
We have been blessed! The role of mid-wife, coach and guiding light has been played by an angel who goes by the name of Sarah Sutton. From conception through the early ‘formative years’ of Mind Chi, she has been there. The book you hold, is here because of her dedication and expertise. ‘Thank you’ is just the tip of the gratitude-burg we feel.
Our team from Wiley, we thank for their dedication, patience, support and ﬂexibility and are grateful for their graciousness.
To all that have ever attended our seminars – we thank you for the learning we received from you.
Special mention goes to our mentor, Tony Buzan, who for the last twenty years was our teacher, coach, inspiration and friend and who encouraged us to ﬂ y.
Finally, a heartfelt thanks goes to Jamie Nast for her unwavering support, she is a true believer in mental literacy and a class act.
Acknowledgements vii Mind Chi Fast Track xv Introduction to Mind Chi 1
PART 1: MIND CHI KICK-OFF! 13 1 What is Mind Chi? 15 2 Meet ‘Chi’ – Your Mind Chi Mentor 31 3 Mind Chi BEAT 39 4 Mind Chi Basic 43
PART 2: MIND CHI IN ACTION 71 5 Mind Chi Maps 73 6 Create your own Mind Chi Plan 79 7 Mind Chi in Action 91 8 Mind Chi Change 129
PART 3: 50 MIND CHI PLANS – STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS 135 9 Goals 141 10 Management Skills 155 11 Sales 167 12 Communication 177 13 Job Smarts 191 14 Training 205 15 health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com) 223 16 Self-concept 241
PART 4: MIND CHI PLUS 257
17 18 19 20 Mind Chi Vehicle 259 Mind Chi Assistance 281 Mind Chi Beliefs 289 It’s all in your Mind Chi 299
Mind Chi Glossary 311 Bibliography 315 Recommended Reading 319 Further Resources 323 Sample Pages 325 Index 335
1 Achieving goals 142 2 Planning effectively 144 3 Setting priorities 146 4 Mastering time management 148 5 Conquering procrastination 150 6 Delegating effectively 152
MANAGEMENT SKILLS 7 Increasing creativity 156 8 Managing change 158 9 Running effective meetings 160 10 Constructing positive teams 162 11 Coaching skills 164
SALES 12 Prospecting 168 13 Coping with rejection 170 14 Closing sales 172 15 Beating the competition 174
COMMUNICATION 16 Giving feedback 178 17 Accepting criticism 180 18 Negotiating successfully 182 19 Understanding MIS-understanding 184 20 Listening actively 186 21 Presenting effectively 188
JOB SMARTS 22 Reinventing yourself 192 23 Upgrading for job security 194
health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com)
24 Preparing for job interviews 196 25 Networking skills 198 26 Working well with my boss 200 27 Dealing with difﬁ cult people 202
28 Reversing poor memory 206 29 Recalling names and faces 208 30 Handling information overload 210 31 Speedy-reading 212 32 Reading from the screen 214 33 Taming emails 216 34 Writing reports and letters 218 35 Learning to learn 220
36 Multi-tasking 224 37 Converting anger 226 38 Controlling depression 228 39 Forgiving 230 40 Calming stress 232 41 Taking mini-breaks 234 42 Transitioning 236 43 Stabilizing work–life balance 238
44 Developing leadership skills 242 45 Building motivation 244 46 Staying positive 246 47 Being prepared 248 48 Growing self-esteem 250 49 Creating a difference 252 50 Keeping commitments 254
Here is a whistle-stop tour through the basic structure of Mind Chi – an overview of the beneﬁts and features of the adventure you are about to start. A more detailed introduction follows, but here is what you need to know right now.
Mind Chi is your mental energy. Mind Chi shows you how to build, manage and direct your mental energy for increased success in business and life. It allows you to reinvent yourself with superior performance for changing times. Mind Chi provides you with a special present, to (re)gain control over yourself – your one oasis of security in this shifting season.
1 Mind Chi builds four powerful change processes right into activities, seamlessly assisting you to make the changes you want; they are your Mind Chi Vehicle for change.
2 Mind Chi applies the latest research on how your brain/mind functions to how this information can actually make a positive difference in your life, via your Mind Chi Program.
3 Mind Chi comes with a built-in guide, ‘Chi’ – your Mind Chi Mentor will help you achieve your goals and strengthen your willpower. ‘Chi’ will embed your positive, new Mind Chi Meme.
4 Mind Chi is a brain-friendly program, providing very ‘simple’ yet deeply profound processes that you can use to organize your thoughts and plan your life: your Mind Chi Maps. Mind Chi offers you control over yourself, your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts in this present moment, using Your Mind Chi BEAT.
It is into the schools of Positive Psychology, Mental Wellness and Eudemonics that Mind Chi ﬁ rmly ﬁts. What is right about you and how can you have more of it? What processes and knowledge can assist you to direct your will to produce the outcomes you desire? How can you ﬁx the (relatively) minor impediments and enhance the features you want? How can you ﬂ ourish?!
That is what Mind Chi is all about!
Mind Chi is your mental energy Beneﬁts of Mind Chi Mind Chi overview It is all in your Mind Chi
Welcome to Mind Chi! Mind Chi offers you a simple and revolutionary way to improve your mental energy, regain control and achieve your greatest goals. Mind Chi is a synthesis of positive psychology, mental wellness and eudemonics (the study of happiness). The eight steps of Mind Chi are grounded ﬁrmly in established theories of memory, mind and motivational development and are the distillation of over eighty years’ combined personal experience and development by the authors. The techniques are designed to improve your control, willpower and focus, and in so doing increase your success in business and life.
Everything that you do, feel, express, experience and think is fuelled by your mental energy. Every thought, action or emotion results from the way you direct your energy. Are you using it for your own good or for your self-destruction? Are you using it to operate at your optimal level, or to function at your lowest level?
Mind Chi shows you how to build, manage and direct your mental energy for increased success and enjoyment in business and life. It allows you to adapt and reinvent yourself with superior performance in changing times. The concept of ‘Chi’ has its roots in Chinese culture and philosophy and will be a familiar concept to anyone who has seen or practised t’ai chi or qigong. Chi is related to, but not precisely the same as, the scientiﬁc concept of energy. In Mind Chi the Chi energy is a feeling and an attitude related to your willpower. Your mental energy increases in line with your level of attention and the strength of your intention. This is the basic premise of Mind Chi.
You need to know how to build, manage and direct your mental energy for your own well-being and success. It is all too easy to go through your life being unaware of how you are using this vital resource. You may feel that you are at the mercy of ‘involuntary’ responses – and you may be – but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Mind Chi can allow you control over your body, thoughts, emotions and actions.
The decision, believe it or not, is yours!
Negative thoughts and actions generate further negativity – spreading a feeling of helpless gloom faster than the speed of Twitter. Negativity gives away the keys to controlling your will and volition. Mind Chi will show you that, just by thinking positively and appropriately, you (not anyone or anything else) can always be actively in control. Mind Chi is all about taking back the keys to your future and making sure you know when and how to use them.
The eight steps of Mind Chi encourage you to ask: what is right about me and how can I have more of it? How can I learn to direct my will to produce the outcomes I desire?
In just eight minutes a day you will learn to rewind your past, review your present, and visualize and plan a future of your choosing.
Over the course of 28 days this basic routine will be transformed into a life-enhancing habit.
What results can you expect from Mind Chi?
Mind Chi helps you to improve your mental energy which, in turn, means that you increase your personal power and have a far better chance of obtaining the future that you want. Because you are able to manage your stress in a positive way, you will also beneﬁt from overall increased good health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com). There is a direct correlation between your state of contentment and your state of wellness, so you will sleep better and feel more energized. This means that you will feel happier and more in control of each day. All that from an eight-minute-a-day routine!
The two key words that Mind Chi-ers report are ‘control’ and ‘satisfaction’:
• Control – in the sense that you will learn the Mind Chi BEAT: how to check your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts, making you aware of how you are functioning. You can then choose to make any necessary adjustments to create a stronger feeling of control over yourself and anything that you may be facing.
• Satisfaction – comes ﬁrst from seeing fast improvements in just a few days, which happens through projecting forward to visualize and plan your next 24 hours. You are more likely to gain positive outcomes and achieve your desired responses if you use Mind Chi to plan ahead.
Mind Chi will bring you many beneﬁts, among them are:
1 Balancing your work and life: focusing on a health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com)y work/life balance. You will learn to ‘work smarter’ so that the really important things in your life can be given equal priority.
2 Identifying your goals: learning to visualize and plan for what you want. Mind Chi show you ways of visualizing and attaining your goals.
3 Living ‘in the moment’: your Mind Chi BEAT – a simple method to check your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts – encourages you to increase your focus and attention on the present moment and make the changes you need or want to.
4 Being your best: cutting-edge strategies for business success and personal happiness – improving communication skills; management techniques; health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com); self-concept and relationship issues. You will be able to give superior performance because you will have repaired small (or large) problem areas and achieved your goals.
5 Enabling you to focus: you will be able to cut out distractions and keep your attention where and when you want it.
6 Improving faith in your memory: learn how to remember what you want to remember and the causes of your ‘forgettery’ (absentmindedness).
7 Bringing quality to your relationships: your professional relationships, and those with your family and friends will improve as your interpersonal skills develop and you become clearer about what you want and how you can achieve it.
8 Increasing power and purpose in all you do: which means greater job satisfaction, more effective outcomes and heightened enjoyment in all you do.
Mind Chi is divided into four parts as follows:
Part 1 Mind Chi Kick-off! Part 1 will have you up and running with the eight steps of the Mind Chi Basic program – in no time. We introduce ‘Chi’, your Mind Chi Mentor and your Mind Chi BEAT to help you to gain immediate control of your thoughts. The Mind Chi Basic routine is explained in depth. The eight steps are completed in just eight minutes a day.
Part 2 Mind Chi in Action. As Mind Chi Maps are used throughout this book, we begin by explaining what ‘maps’ are and how they can be used. Part 2 shows you how to solve a problem or achieve a goal for your business and personal advancement. We explain the underlying process to you so you can either write your own Mind Chi Plan or use one of the 50 Strategies for Success included in Part 3. You will ﬁnd two worked examples, a business and personal strategy on page 109.
Part 3 50 Mind Chi Plans – Strategies for Success. The focus of Part 3 is the practical challenges faced on a daily basis by those in business. We have used our combined experience to concentrate on the topics of most common concern – that will also improve one’s efﬁciency and proﬁ tability. Fifty Strategies are included and grouped under the themes of: Goals; Management; Sales; Communication; Job Smarts; Training; health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com) and Self-concept.
Part 4 Mind Chi Plus. Part 4 puts you at the wheel of your Mind Chi Vehicle and shows how it is engineered using a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Rational Living Therapy, Robert Fritz’s Structural Tension, Dr Jeffery Schwartz’s 4 ‘R’ Method and the sterling work of several scientists and researchers on how to improve your memory. In the Mind Chi Assistance chapter we include techniques on how to expand your thinking and overcome limiting beliefs, re-invent yourself and increase your self-esteem. Finally, we impart the Mind Chi Meme for you to take for yourself and pass to others.
Want to start the program immediately? Then go to Mind Chi Kick-off! (page 13) and learn the Mind Chi Basic routine (page 43).
Interested to learn ﬁrst about the research behind the Mind Chi program? Go to All in Your Mind (page 9) and then to Mind Chi Plus (page 257).
Have a speciﬁc problem or issue? Select a Strategy for Success from the lists we have provided (page 135). But ﬁrst familiarize yourself with the Mind Chi Basic routine and learn how to apply it to achieve your goal (pages 43 and 91).
Of course you may also read the book from start to ﬁ nish. Mind Chi works whichever direction you choose to follow.
Mind Chi terminology
We have kept the names as descriptive as possible, so it ‘does what it says on the can’!
Then there are four Mind Chi Methods to make it as easy as possible for you:
These will be introduced to you in the next chapters and will soon become familiar.
The Mind Chi effect
There is a delicate balance between seeming to ‘preach’ and presenting concepts in a way that encourages you to strive for your best. Our intention is to help as many people as possible to become the best they want to be. You may be inﬂuenced by our techniques to a greater or lesser degree and it is our wish that they generate and inspire the highest ideals.
Once you have felt the beneﬁts, share Mind Chi with others! This book is geared to the business community. That is, every one of you who does some sort of work (paid or not) on most days (well, we hope you get a weekend!). Nevertheless, the Mind Chi philosophy applies to ALL humans, so share it with your children (please do – they really need to learn these concepts), with the ‘older folk’ – they too can really beneﬁt and any person, in any endeavour who wishes for superior performance and increased satisfaction.
What is the difference between the ‘brain’ and the ‘mind’? The debate is ongoing. The word ‘brain’ usually refers to the actual physical, chemical and electrical functioning of the grey matter in your head, whereas ‘mind’ is used to mean the cognitive functions, the intellect, consciousness and perceptions. However, as scientists delve ever more deeply into brain research, its greater intricacies are revealed, and the distinction between brain and mind begins to blur: it is no easy-tofollow, hard-wired ‘machine’. In Mind Chi we use the words ‘brain’ and ‘mind’ interchangeably.
Even those who have been deeply immersed in brain research for years, who have some understanding of the brain’s function and relationship to learning and effective performance, have been following with rapt attention the expansion of new frontiers, that cross the boundary between quantum physics and neuroscience.
Brain activity can now be mapped and scanned using PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans, fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) readings and meticulous mapping; habitual behaviours can be seen as they occur in your brain. Even your thoughts can be ‘seen’ and interpreted accurately. Now, that is a statement with incredible ramiﬁ cations! Further, it is realized that the ‘plasticity’ of your brain is far greater than initially expected: it literally rewires and remoulds itself in line with patterns of use. Your brain is a true ‘learning machine’ that adjusts as new information is received. It is designed to change and modify in line with your thoughts and direction. Two recent experiments to show this are: Pascual-Leone took some sighted people and blindfolded them for ﬁve days, he observed that it took only two days for the visual cortex to reorganize itself to process tactile and auditory signals; separately some chronic stroke patients were given two weeks of ‘constraint-induced movement therapy’ (CI) – where the arm that does work is kept in a sling and the ‘useless’ arm is given therapy and made to work – which it does, even after seventeen years of non use! The important point here is that your brain will always be able to reorganize and ‘learn’ new pathways because it appears that parts of your brain are not allocated to speciﬁ c tasks, so you can – and do – use them as the need arises. Amazing!
The ﬂexibility and enormity of the brain’s ability to learn has immense
There is a long history of treatment based on empirical evidence for structural and functional abnormalities of the brain. These treatments were based on observed responses because scientists had no way (until recently) of accessing and observing the inner workings of the brain. Even today, we are only scratching the surface of the complexity of this structure. Many treatments have been judged as highly effective over time and those approaches which show successful results still survive.
We are now obtaining gradual insight into how processes occur in the brain, and so the scientiﬁc rationale behind the more successful treatments is becoming clearer.
Chapter 1 – What is Mind Chi? Chapter 2 – Meet ‘Chi’ – Your Mind Chi Mentor Chapter 3 – Mind Chi BEAT Chapter 4 – Mind Chi Basic
Mind Chi Basic How can Mind Chi help you? Mind Chi questionnaire Making your Mind Chi commitment
When you learn to write a language you start by learning the letters of the alphabet. Once you have mastered these essential building blocks you move on to the next stage of learning to read and write. Mind Chi Basic has eight simple building blocks: eight one-minute activities that will take just eight minutes a day for 28 days. The beneﬁts of learning these will enable you to achieve all you envisage for yourself in life.
Just as taking physical exercise will leave you more energized and in better physical shape, so too Mind Chi will leave your brain feeling recharged and raring to go. Mind Chi can be done at any time, in any place (with just a simple clock or watch to help you) and will beneﬁ t both your mind and body.
Why eight steps? Because the number eight has many positive connotations and connections. It is considered by many cultures to be a symbol of prosperity, wealth, continuity and the start of a new era. In China, the Beijing Olympics was orchestrated to begin on 8-8-2008 starting at 8:08 for exactly these reasons. It is also a number in the dynamic Fibonacci sequence of numbers, which has positive applications in mathematics, science and nature – and therefore life.
Why eight minutes? Because it is an amount of time that even the busiest people can carve from their day. It will not impinge on all the other priorities that demand your time. Further, it is the shortest amount of time in which to enable the powerful combination of the eight Mind Chi steps to have an effect. As it is an unusual amount of time (rather than ten minutes) it ‘stands out’ in the memory – which is important for learning.
Why twenty-eight days? Because it has long been held that 28 consecutive days is the minimum length of time that it takes for the brain to turn a new behaviour into a habit. (See Memory, page 16 to learn how the brain adapts to make the habit permanent.)
Mind Chi Program overview
There are two phases to the complete Mind Chi Program (see the map opposite):
1 Mind Chi Basic – It takes just eight minutes a day to complete the eight Mind Chi Basic steps. These will generate mental energy, improve your mental and physical functioning and kick-start your new Mind Chi habit and lifestyle. ‘Repeat these steps for 28 days and you will create your foundation of self-control.
2 Mind Chi in Action – This is What to do and How to do it. Once you have mastered your Mind Chi Basic routine, you can direct your mental energy towards any aspect of your life. We provide you with 50 Strategies for Success, to overcome problems (such as Conquering Procrastination, page 94) and reach your goals (such
|What is Mind Chi?||17|
|as ‘Running effective meetings’ page 160). We also show you how to write your own plan (page 79). Put your plan into action by applying Mind Chi Basic techniques to your Mind Chi Plan for 28 days – to achieve the results you want.|
|Breathe ‘One’ Adjust Associate Be aware||Start Past||8 steps||Mind Chi||Mind Chi||Current reality Plan Transform meme 50 Strategies Goal for Success|
Now Mind Chi
Choose Basic in Action 8 mins for 28 days
Plan MC Tracker Future
Mind Chi ADOCTA Program
8 mins for 28 days
A map of the two phases of your Mind Chi Program (read out from the centre)
There are four powerful Mind Chi Methods to assist your success:
1 Mind Chi Maps. To present information to you in the most condensed, yet easily accessible manner, we have used maps. This graphic portrayal of information most closely mirrors the functioning of your brain and therefore allows easy storage of, and access to, data. Mind Chi Basic, Mind Chi Plans and Mind Chi Applied are all presented as maps. These maps convey the essence of the information and enable the relationships between the various aspects to be seen immediately. We encourage the use of maps in many of the Strategies for Success (page 135). A map works in natural partnership with your brain. For example, if you see several of your colleagues sitting round a table at a meeting, you might be able to recall who said what by linking to where they sat. Similarly, the map uses colour, image and association to help you to remember that which you often think you have forgotten.
2 Mind Chi BEAT. Mind Chi enables you to tune in to your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts; together they form your Mind Chi BEAT (the acronym is based on the ﬁ rst letter of each stage). Your Mind Chi BEAT is at the heart of the Mind Chi process and it is a phrase that will appear frequently throughout the book. As you learn to be in control of your BEAT you choose also to be in control of yourself in the present moment. It closes the gap between what you have and what you want (BEAT, page 39).
3 Mind Chi Vehicle. This is a unique aspect of Mind Chi. We have carefully woven into the Mind Chi Program four very effective processes for change. They are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT);
I am ‘Chi’ and
I am here to Structural Tension; the Four Rs and Memory Processes. These are
serve you as you
introduced and their impact explained in Part 4 (page 257). All you
need to know for now is that they have been built seamlessly into all
aspects of Mind Chi to assist you to change with the greatest of ease.
4 Meet ‘Chi’ your Mind Chi Mentor. In Mind Chi you are introduced to your inner voice. We have called it ‘Chi’. This well-informed guide can help you to develop your conscious awareness and transform negative thoughts into positive ones. This is a very important aspect of your Mind Chi success because ‘Chi’, your Mind Chi mentor, will help you to think positively and choose to discard old and outdated negative thought patterns (‘Chi’, page 31).
Mind Chi mentor
‘Chi’ Mind Chi Maps
|4 Mind Chi|
|4 Rs of OCT||Emotions|
|Mind Chi||Mind Chi|
|Cognitive Behavioural Therapy||Thoughts|
A map of the four Mind Chi Methods to assist your easy success
Mind Chi will help you to transform yourself from where you are and take you to where you want to be, literally helping to push you away from negativity and pull you positively towards your goals by completing your own Mind Chi Plan with the necessary actions and steps.
Mind Chi is for those of you who are just trying to keep your heads above water in these rapidly changing times, as well as those of you who are managing and want to do even better!
The questionnaire on page 23 will show your current state of mind and the areas where Mind Chi can bring you immediate beneﬁ ts.
We have worked in business and know how damaging the impact of stress and low energy levels can be. In our experience the severity of people’s suffering and personal challenge has become critical and the common ‘coping’ strategies are often not positive (drugs, drink, burnout etc.). Our concern about the debilitating impact that these behaviours have on people’s ability to fulﬁl their true potential has provided us with the sense of urgency to write this book now.
Where and when can you use Mind Chi?
Mind Chi can be used when and where you need it or as it ﬁts in with your day. The eight steps of Mind Chi Basic are best done at the same time and place (if possible) so that you can make it an easy daily habit. You can also repeat any of the Mind Chi Basic steps as and when you need them through the day (e.g. to make sure you are staying positive or to get you back on track). The steps are done in your mind, so you can do them while waiting for an appointment, as a break, when you are feeling tense, or bored, or on your way to work or home.
How long does it take to master Mind Chi?
The eight steps to Mind Chi Basic can be mastered in one day or over an eight day period. Each step introduces you to one new skill (for one minute). These will build up until you can practice the full eight steps for a total of eight minutes. Each step is designed to lead quite effortlessly to the next. However, if you feel comfortable learning several or all steps together, then please proceed at your own pace.
Once you have learnt your Basic steps, commit to keeping up your routine for 28 consecutive days. You will then be well on your way to turning your Mind Chi routine into a habit and will be starting to reap real beneﬁts. After 28 days you will be able to revisit the questions you answered on page 326 and see where you have improved. You have mastered Mind Chi Basic.
The next stage is to decide what particular aspect of your life you want to improve. You can either read through the 50 Strategies for Success (page 135) and select a Mind Chi Plan that is a priority for you, or begin by creating your own (page 79). Each Mind Chi Plan and Mind Chi in action will take another 28 days as you master a speciﬁc skill, overcome a problem or achieve a goal.
Simple concepts pack a big punch. There is a wealth of scientiﬁ c knowledge and personal experience included in the Mind Chi Strategies for Success even though we have carefully crafted them to be easy to follow.
Mind Chi is a program whose time has come; the paradigm shift that is occurring in business globally is unprecedented. We have experienced in our work – as never before – a burgeoning culture of stress, worry and uncertainty that is affecting millions, globally. There is a sad lack of joy, peace, happiness and satisfaction in our working and personal lives.
These are some of the aspects that are exacerbating the current situation (in no particular order):
and difﬁculty. It equips you with coping strategies that will reassure you and give you conﬁ dence.
In creating the Mind Chi Program we wanted to craft a system that could assist you to manage your problems and achieve your goals, to help you control your part of the world (you!), no matter what else is going on about you.
How can you choose to change whenever you want to? You have the best of intentions, but somehow your old behaviour patterns tend to return. What you don’t want seems to be more ‘sticky’ than what you do want. It is a common dilemma.
Making Mind Chi ‘sticky’
Breakthrough news! Your brain is more malleable than was previously imagined. We now know that throughout your life it is evolving at a physical, chemical and electrical level. You ‘rewire’ your brain with every thought. Yes, every thought! This means that when you focus on ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ you want to change, you will have already sent a message that has started to change your brain.
Mind Chi combines the best of the behavioural change processes and the latest research about the plasticity of your brain and puts it altogether to make one ‘super-sticky’ program. All you need to do to change your habit pattern is to decide to take your ﬁrst Mind Chi step!
The purpose of Mind Chi is to enable you to achieve all your wishes in your business and personal life. It is to give you a program that you can apply to any area where you want to address a problem, improve your functioning and (re)gain control of yourself.
How committed are you? If you are not 100% committed, ask yourself:
What’s stopping me from 100% commitment?
Your answer is critical to your success.
When you can build a beneﬁt statement for yourself that is strong enough to make you want to carve out eight minutes a day to reap the rewards of change – then you will succeed.
Making a commitment
1 Before you think of making a commitment, contemplate deeply why you want to do this. What are the beneﬁ ts to you? Write them on attractive notes and put the notes where you are sure to see them several times a day.
2 Think about the obstacles that may (or have) come up and plan a way to deal with each one now! Be ready; do not let them un-stick you.
3 Consider how important this is to you on a scale of 0–100. What would you put aside to make sure this task was done? If you haven’t rated this with an importance of 100 percent, it probably won’t be done! Might as well save your time and energy now.
4 When you do ﬁnd something that you can give 100 percent to, then set a plan in action. Pick a start date and time. Pick an ending date to work towards. Create your action steps. Have a moment of celebration: a real point of recognition for the moment you are starting your plan. Feel its signiﬁcance, that little quiver of anticipation, yes, even slight anxiousness. Then off you go.
5 Now, because this is a new habit, it is quite likely that in the ﬁ rst few days you may slip. Do not give up if you do. This is the mistake so many make. Simply observe, and ask, ‘Why did I slip?’ What safeguards could you put in place to prevent a further slip? Go for it one more day.
6 Use ‘Chi’ (your Mind Chi mentor, page 31) to heighten your awareness so that you pick up on the subtle signals of ‘slippage moments’ fast or before they happen, and can put into play the action you want, rather than the reaction you don’t want.
7 Congratulate yourself when you do what you planned. Soon the new way will start to make its own groove and becomes less of a hassle.
‘I need to let go, to make this work!’
When you are ready … here is your commitment letter:
What is the role of your ‘Chi’?
Willpower and volition
You know that little voice inside your head? The one that tells you the good and the bad things to do? At the moment ‘it’ may often be a mischief maker or troublemaker, the voice that undermines you and stops you from doing good things. However, you will learn to befriend and control your inner voice and to use your self-talk to help you achieve all you wish.
We are calling your inner voice ‘Chi’ and will show you how to transform it into a Mind Chi mentor that can become a force for success and positive transformation.
To start with, become more tuned in to what your ‘Chi’ has to say. Is it more positive or negative in tone? Can you reason with it? From now on, encourage and coax your ‘Chi’ to do your bidding in a positive way. It is your most powerful ally and will become your greatest supporter.
‘Chi’ has many roles and wears many hats. Here are a few so you can start to appreciate how vital ‘Chi’ is to your well-being and success:
• It is there to increase your awareness of your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts. We call it your Mind Chi BEAT (coming up on page 39).
At ﬁrst you will have to call consciously upon your ‘Chi’ to assist you, as you may have let it run wild for a while with no guidelines or direction. With more focused attention, your ‘Chi’ will learn quickly what you want and how to obtain your attention. If your ‘Chi’ has a habit of thinking negatively, the Mind Chi routine and Mind Chi Meme will gently re-educate your ‘Chi’ to become positive: your greatest asset instead of your worst saboteur (Chi, page 31).
How does your ‘Chi’ help?
You process information through your senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching. All this information and the experience of all the events in your life are stored in your long-term memory, even though you may not consciously remember it all (Memory, page 276). Your memory is comparable to an immense library with millions and millions of books and ﬁ les.
You have a constant stream of conscious thoughts every day. As a new thought enters your brain, your memory looks for the appropriate ﬁ le to see if anything is similar to a previous experience, and how it relates
– either positively or negatively – to your present reality or situation.
Fuelling these thoughts and absorbing all that is happening is your internal voice, your ‘Chi’, who is in charge of your ﬁling system: looking up old ﬁ les, reﬁling, and making up new ﬁles. Your ‘Chi’ is quite opinionated! It will tell you what it thinks and encourage or discourage your actions and reactions.
How to contact your ‘Chi’
All the Mind Chi Basic steps will encourage you to become more aware of your inner voice. Tuning in may take a little practice, because it tends to chatter away so consistently and loudly, and you are so used to its noise in the background, you hardly pay attention to what is being said any longer. (It is similar to sitting alongside a chatty colleague whose voice you have learned to ‘tune out’ during a working day.)
Focus your attention and ﬁnd how much of your inner chatter is to your detriment and how much for your welfare. Negative chatter is damaging. When it continues from day to day it becomes a habit that
is highly destructive and renders you less than you can be.
Does your ‘Chi’ tell you that you are ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’? Or that you will make a fool of yourself if you speak up at a meeting? Or that you are unable to complete a project? When your ‘Chi’ is constantly undermining you, you will doubt yourself and perform to your lowest ability. Happily the Mind Chi Program allows you to correct this. Your ‘Chi’ when used consciously will boost your willpower and help you to choose to think realistically and constructively, to bring about positive reactions and results.
Survive or thrive with your ‘Chi’
You use your willpower constantly through the day. Every thought is an act of will as you are selecting one thought, feeling or action over another. Much of the time this takes place in your para-conscious (not in your immediate awareness) as you choose water over juice, one bus route instead of another, this activity over that. You may pause to ponder the pluses and minuses of various options before you decide on one, but the process is fairly automatic and works well. Sometimes, however, you may come a bit unstuck if, for instance, you have a big hairy habit that takes you in the wrong direction (such as always being late). On these occasions you need your willpower to get yourself back on a positive Mind Chi track. (Willpower, page 35.)
On a scale of 0–10 ask yourself how you would rate the strength of your willpower? (It’s tough to achieve, but anything less than 10 means there is scope for improvement.) Regardless of your score, your ‘Chi’ will help you to improve. Your ‘Chi’ helps you to recognize when you are distracted, taken away from your goal or focus. Your ‘Chi’ reminds you that you have the control to say yes or no: it is your ‘free will’ and your ‘free won’t’. It is imperative that you develop this skill. Left unchecked, a lack of willpower will leave you ﬂoating about at ‘survival’ level, rather than enabling you to thrive and achieve your wishes and desires – your full potential.
This is the pivotal point of the success or failure of your Mind Chi Program.
You have the choice to remain with and reinforce old habits that are not serving you or build new habits that will allow you to develop to your full potential.
Volition is a beautiful word that is rarely used. The Concise Oxford Dictionary deﬁnes it as, ‘The act of willing or choosing; the act of forming a purpose; the exercise of will.’ The term ‘willpower’ is often used to describe the same process. Volition and willpower are important Mind Chi characteristics that are strengthened with increased use.
There is now demonstrable evidence that conscious decision-making accounts for 20–50 percent of brain activity. Brain activity can be seen on fMRIs while tasks are performed. Many of your everyday decisions are made in the pre-conscious (para-conscious) mind, but readily brought into your awareness. Thus, your willpower (also referred to as conscious volition, intentionality, or self-control) is a force you can call upon when necessary – to help you to make a conscious choice to act in a certain way.
You tend to pay attention to your own willpower only when you are having problems applying yourself to a difﬁcult task. The majority of the time you use it without even being aware of it, such as when you decide to make a phone call instead of an email, or vice versa.
Willpower is the most powerful force of human behaviour. When you learn to activate your willpower, or volition, you will reap the beneﬁts of taking purposeful action and see more projects completed. But engaging volition isn’t easy. It’s at a higher attainment level than motivation. Motivation is the desire to do something; volition is the absolute commitment to achieving something.
To activate your volition, you must pass through a mental barrier. Research has shown that many people are motivated to achieve, but only ten percent are likely to overcome personal barriers to commit to the task in hand. Volition requires you to resolve an (often intensive) inner struggle between old habits and new desires to achieve what you really want. Having engaged your will, you will need the tenacity and commitment to deal with setbacks and persevere through the long, energy-intensive journey from a vision to its realization.
The power of your will is like a muscle and, once you start to ﬂ ex it, you will be quite delighted by how it responds. It is quite a heady feeling to know that you have control over yourself; you can do what you want, when you want. Your ‘Chi’ is at your command and it just becomes easier!
The branches of this WILLPOWER map show:
Access ‘NOW’ through your Mind Chi BEAT
Your Mind Chi BEAT is the ‘Open Sesame’ to controlling your life. That is a strong statement and we know it to be true. Inspired by the very popular and productive ‘talk therapy’ called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or the more recent Rational Living Therapy, the Mind Chi BEAT will make you aware of how you are currently feeling and functioning and provides you with the choice to change as you wish (CBT, page 262).
Access ‘NOW’ through your Mind Chi BEAT
B.E.A.T is an acronym for Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts. The BEAT technique provides you with the precious gift of the present – living in the ‘now’.
It is easy to lose contact with your awareness of the present moment because you are dwelling on something that has passed or are thinking about the future. But the ‘now’ is your only true point of control. You can do nothing about the past, it has passed. The only thing you can do is change your perspective about things that happened. You can’t change the future by worrying about it; you can, however, plan and craft a direction and take steps now to make your preferred future a reality.
Your BEAT ﬁ nger check
Tap your thumb against each of your ﬁngers in turn to ‘tune in’ to what is happening to your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts right now. We explain the BEAT process in depth on page 39 as part of Steps 5 and 6 of your Mind Chi Basic. In brief, all you have to do (and why not do it right now?) to become BEAT aware is:
|Check – tap thumb||To begin the ‘BEAT check’|
|Body – tap ﬁrst (index) ﬁnger||Ask, ‘How is my body responding now?’ (Relaxed or uptight?)|
|Emotions – tap second (middle) ﬁnger||Ask, ‘What emotions am I experiencing now?’ (Calm or worried?)|
|Actions – tap third (ring) ﬁnger||Ask, ‘What actions am I taking now?’ (Directed or ‘scattered’?)|
|Thoughts – tap fourth (little) ﬁ nger||Ask, ‘What thoughts am I having now?’ (Supportive or undermining?)|
The essential point is that once you are aware of your BEAT you can choose to change any aspect if you wish. What would be best for your well-being?
Do your BEAT ‘ﬁnger check’ at any moment when you want to shift your awareness from one state to another and one activity to another.
From this point of awareness you can change anything about yourself – and control your world, no matter what is happening. You can intercept at any moment to change the direction of your BEAT. See how important this is?
Mind Chi BEAT ﬁ nger check
Use your ﬁngers to do a quick BEAT check to ‘tune in’ to your state of mind and body
When an event occurs, it has an effect on some or all aspects of your Mind Chi BEAT (Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts). In turn, these four aspects can impinge on each other. Without BEAT-awareness this can easily create a vicious circle where the negative situation gets far worse.
By becoming BEAT-aware, you can check and choose to change your reaction to a situation. You can retake control and create the outcome you desire. Now the vicious circle becomes a victorious spiral.
Mind Chi Start Mind Chi Past Mind Chi Now Mind Chi Future Mind Chi FAQs
The eight steps of the Mind Chi Basic process will take you only eight minutes a day. Mind Chi takes place in your mind. You don’t need pens, paper or a computer, which means you can do it easily – at your desk, while you travel, at home or in bed. Try doing Mind Chi at different times of day to see what works best for you and your routine.
Initially you will need a timer, watch, clock or mobile phone with a second hand or a beeper setting, to alert you when the one minute time is up.
If possible, do the eight minute activities at the same time of day and in the same place each day. Select a time when you are not likely to be interrupted.
Here is a map summary of the eight steps. You may ﬁnd it helpful to print the map (Sample pages, page 328 or from the website, www. MindChi.com).
The topic is the Mind Chi Basic, so it is in the centre of the map.
Begin at ‘10 o’clock’ to Start: Steps 1 and 2; follow the ‘clock face’ round to cross over to 1 o’clock for Past: Steps 3 and 4; down to 4 o’clock for Now: Steps 5 and 6. Finally, over to 7 o’clock for the two steps to create your Future: Steps 7 and 8.
There are two steps at the start of Mind Chi; they are concerned with regaining control over your breath and mind. They will increase your personal wellness by helping to reduce your feelings of stress and take up the reins to bring your runaway attention span under control.
If your mind is easily distracted or preoccupied with past or future events – events you can’t change and events that might never happen
– you become stuck. Instead of moving forwards you become lodged in inactivity or negative thinking. So, before you start, summon up a ‘vision’ inside your head of the ‘you’ that is all you want to be. Just stay with that experience and feel its impact for a few seconds.
Breath control is at the foundation of nearly all stress-relieving strategies, from yoga to modern sports psychology. The power of breath to improve the health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com) of the mind and body has been known for generations.
Step 1: Breathe – to ﬁnd inner calm and focus and increase your awareness of the present moment.
Step 2: Attend – to focus on your ability to strengthen your command of focus and attention. The vitally important ‘One’ exercise is deceptively simple and yet powerful in its impact. It allows you to practice refocusing at will. You can regard this Mind Chi activity as strengthening your ability to concentrate by improving mental conditioning. Focused attention is a prime element of intelligence.
NOTE: As you are learning these Mind Chi Basic steps, you may choose to become familiar with just one step per day for eight days. Or you may feel ready to take on several or all at one time. Pace yourself as you feel comfortable.
Step 1: Breathe
When you are anxious or excited, you may ﬁnd yourself feeling breathless. You may gasp, in an attempt to increase the ﬂow of oxygen to your brain – which helps you to cope with your anxiety. For example, even the thought of public speaking will put many people into ‘panic’ mode. The Mind Chi Breath technique can be an effective tool in managing anxiety.
Breathing exercises have long been at the heart of many health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com) and healing practices and appear to have numerous positive effects. Breathing deeply and from the diaphragm will give you more energy; reduce your mental and physical fatigue; increase the supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout your body, especially your brain; ease the strain on your heart by increasing the oxygen supply; relax muscle spasms and relieve tension. Further, breathing exercises can partially compensate for lack of exercise and inactivity due to illness or injury and enable you to recover faster from stress and exertion.
The act of breathing is not the same as the art of breathing! The act of breathing is controlled by your autonomic nervous system (ANS) and fortunately for you, it occurs naturally, without your intervention. This is ﬁne most of the time; however, there is a sting in that tail. When you are nervous or feeling under threat, your automatic reaction takes over with the ‘ﬁght or ﬂight’ response. This means you are either gearing up for attack, or you want to run away. Adrenalin levels increase and your breathing becomes shallow, fast and short. This is alright for brief periods of time, but if you live life in a constant state of stress you will develop a shallow breathing pattern that actually reinforces your stress state. Conversely, when you are naturally relaxed, you take deeper, fuller, longer and slower breaths. This type of breathing is health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com) inducing. This is the type of breathing you will do in Step 1:
Activity 1: Your Mind Chi Breath
Step 1 of Mind Chi Basic shows you how – when stressed and breathing fast and shallowly, you can consciously alter your breath to become slow, deep and full. Controlled breathing will calm your nerves and undo the negative impact of constant stressors. You may ﬁnd the Mind Chi Breath especially useful at moments when you are anxious or angry. Your Mind Chi Breath is a quick and effective way to safeguard and restore your health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com) and reduce the effects of negative stress.
Set your timer or look at the second hand on a clock for one minute, so you can concentrate on your breathing. Place one open hand over your belly and the other high on your chest.
Breathe in slowly and deeply, check that your belly hand moves in and out with each breath while your chest hand remains almost still. Breathe slowly and deeply, as if you were deeply relaxed or asleep.
One way to control your breathing is to count through each part of the Mind Chi Breath cycle. Count slowly for three seconds as you breathe in, hold your breath for the count of three seconds and breathe out for three seconds: nine seconds per cycle. (If you feel comfortable, stay empty – wait for three seconds to breathe in: 12 seconds per cycle.) Then start the cycle again. Continue for a full minute.
Instead of using a timer, you can just count seven Mind Chi Breath cycles of 9 seconds or ﬁve Mind Chi Breath cycles of 12 seconds = 60 seconds.
Step 1 will reduce your negative stress levels, and improve the balance and harmony of your life. The depth, quality and rhythm of your breath are the keys to your health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com), well-being and positive performance. This simple activity has a great inﬂuence. It will create a positive shift in outlook in a very short time.
Step 2: Attend
How well can you attend? Attention is the ability to focus on a task and your ability to concentrate. Having full control over your concentration is central to your effective functioning in the world. Most people are frequently distracted throughout the day. In our increasingly frenetic world there is no rest from TV and the media; we allow phone calls and emails to interrupt our thoughts and the pace of technological multitasking leaves many people quailing in a ﬁbrillating heap. But the main issue is that few people have ever been taught how to pay attention in the ﬁ rst place. ‘Look at me when I am speaking to you!’ was the cry from your teachers; so you learned to ‘look’ while your mind was everywhere else.
The Mind Chi Attention exercise will show you whether your thoughts are fragmented and what level of mind control you have currently. Practicing the ‘One’ activity will assist you to build your ‘focused attention’ and allow you to have the control to focus your attention for as long as you wish. To begin with you may ﬁnd you have little control at all. The good news is that the exercise will quickly train your brain to concentrate more effectively. You will experience fast progress which will increase your motivation to keep going.
When you are concentrating, waves of electricity called the ‘beta rhythm’ are produced by your brain at a frequency of 12+ Hz. The ‘One’ exercise will tune up your concentration levels and increase your ability to focus your attention.
Activity 2: Your Mind Chi ‘One’
Are you easily distracted, especially when slightly bored? This tendency is a real disadvantage in business, when concentration on the task in hand is all-important; and in communication, where your colleague or client is expecting your rapt attention.
Set a clock or timer to one minute and focus on the blinker or look at the second hand on a watch or clock as you silently repeat, ‘One, one, one …’ to yourself.
As soon as a distracting thought intrudes, stop counting ‘one’ and change to ‘Two, two, two …’ and so on. Increase the number each time you have another intruding thought, even if the thought is just on the periphery of your mind. This way you will keep count of how many intruding thoughts you have during the minute.
This seems so simple. However, the way it tends to work is something like this, ‘One, one, one, ah this is easy – oops! – that was an intruding thought! Two, two, two, two, two, have I planned for today’s meeting? – oh! This is harder than I thought. Three, three, three, three, three …’ and so on.
At the end of one minute note the number you reached. The goal is to be able to stay on ‘one’ without a single intruding thought for the whole sixty seconds.
Step 2 will increase your attention span and improve your clarity of thought. These steps can be done whenever you feel the need to clear your mind, refocus or relieve stress.
Steps 3 and 4 make your memory sharper and ﬁne-tune your awareness of how negative or positive your thoughts really are, so you can choose and direct them consciously to become more positive and well-motivated.
By taking these two minutes each day, while your memories of the past 24 hours are still fresh, you gain control over their impact on your future. You will learn to put the negative into perspective and tease the ‘lessons’ from the experience. Most importantly, you will focus on all the things you did that were helpful and successful and start to build your positive memories. By building up a memory bank of positive thoughts, you are creating an antidote to moments of self-doubt; which means that when you feel less than positive your ‘Chi’ can remind you of all your positive deposits and bolster your self-conﬁ dence.
Step 3: Adjust
In Step 3: Adjust, you will be practicing and strengthening your memory and adjusting the inﬂuence of your negative memories in the process.
Think of your memory as a computer – your input can be through keyboard, mouse or any number of USB devices. Your RAM stores things in the short term (and is typically a few gigabytes in size) and your hard disk stores your long-term memory via a series of interpretation programs. Your hard disk memory capacity is almost limitless.
However, sometimes our memory habits will distort information, recalling some types of information more readily than others. (For example, when given three compliments and one criticism many people will take the criticism to heart and downplay the compliments.) Step 3: Adjust will improve your ability to recall information more accurately simply by focusing on the experiences of the day and reassessing aspects that felt negative or unhelpful.
The ‘adjustment’ here is that having recalled the past 24 hours and focused on the negatives – you then adjust to think ‘what could I have done differently?’ ‘What will I do next time?’ ‘How can I adjust my thinking/actions/emotions to be better next time?’
Your memory will accommodate your adjustments and will begin to recall the lessons learned more easily. Your brain will learn that it needs to pay more attention to achieving positive outcomes during each day. It also means you will live each day more consciously and work towards reducing the negative and increasing the positive, because you know your daily review exercise is coming up.
Activity 3: 24 Hour Rewind (Negative)
Looking at the negative or unhelpful aspects of the past 24 hours might be uncomfortable because negatives often carry more weight in the mind and have a tendency to overshadow or ‘erase’ the positives. By looking at the negatives more closely, you may ﬁnd the situation more balanced than you realize. You can discover any inherent lessons and ask yourself what you might do differently another time. Choose to rewind and adjust your approach to the past.
Set your timer for one minute so you can concentrate on your recall of the day. Rewind the past 24 hours as if you were replaying a movie of your day. It helps to close your eyes when conducting this review as it cuts out any external visual distractions. Particularly look for times when:
1 You were hijacked emotionally by your thoughts or reactions – you
may have found yourself thinking about an emotionally charged
issue over and over again such as, ‘My supervisor really seems to
have it in for me’. 2 You got caught in an unhelpful repetitive pattern of behaviour –
such as eating comfort foods when you felt stressed.
Note each unhelpful memory by counting it on a different ﬁ nger of your non-dominant hand (i.e. your left hand if you are right-handed, and vice versa). Then at the end of the minute brush them off your non-dominant hand as if removing some dust, symbolically releasing those negative and unhelpful thoughts. By metaphorically brushing them away, you let them go. Tell yourself, ‘the past is past’.
Step 3 will make you more aware of your negative thoughts and therefore able to reduce their power; you will then be able to adjust your thinking and have more positive energy/Mind Chi available throughout the day.
Step 4: Associate
To associate is a function of the brain that is automatic. Associations focus on strengthening the basic function of your brain and memory. You will ﬁnd that as you start to remember one thing, it associates with another and helps you to pull up the other memories.
You tend to associate in two main ways (Blooms, page 76).
1 A ‘bloom’ of associations: from a central topic you bloom out associations (like petals on a ﬂower) so you might say ‘butterﬂy’ and Vanda might respond with: ‘change; beauty; brooches; mother, joy and bananas’. All words are directly related to the central stimulus of the word ‘butterﬂy’ in a way that is unique to her. Your words would be your own particular associations showing all your memories, connections, experiences and thoughts relate directly to the central topic.
2 A ‘ﬂow’ of associations: here one word triggers the next and that one the one after it, in a more linear fashion. Starting with ‘butterﬂ y’ Vanda might say; ‘wings – plane – travel – holiday – adventure – Mt Kilimanjaro…’ one word causing an association with the next, moving outwards from the central trigger, in a ﬂow. Unlike a ‘bloom’, the ﬁnal word may have no direct association with the ﬁ rst.
However, if you wish to store, retain and recall with the greatest efﬁciency, then taking care with your associations will pay dividends.
MEMORY TIP: If you do NOT have pen and paper to hand and you want to recall your ideas, then think of your front door at home and use your imagination to attach (associate) the thought in some fun, exaggerated, multi-sensory and dramatic way to your front door. If you have more than one thing to recall, open your front door and imagine attaching the next idea to the ﬁrst thing that you see, like a picture hanging on the wall or a coat stand. You can, of course, write them down as soon as you have pen and paper.
Activity 4: 24-Hour Review (Positive)
Step 4 is similar to step 3, but this time you will look back over the past twenty four hours and recall what positive and successful things occurred. As you recall and review your day, teasing the happenings from your mind, you will experience how each event links, connects and reminds you of another. The more associations you create, the more you are reinforcing the behaviour that you want to repeat.
Set your timer for one minute so you can concentrate on your appraisal. Review the past 24 hours as if you were replaying a movie of your day. It helps to close your eyes when conducting this review as it cuts out any external visual distractions. Particularly look for times when:
Note each positive and helpful memory, by counting it on a different ﬁnger of your dominant hand (your right hand if you are right-handed or vice versa). At the end of the minute, gently squeeze your dominant hand to symbolically reinforce your positive memories and successes.
Step 4 will give you a chance to applaud yourself on how well you have used your Mind Chi over the past 24 hours with successes and positive thoughts. This will directly increase your self-esteem and energy.
When you have completed Steps 3 and 4, become aware of whether you had more positive or negative memories. Simply observe. The important thing is to help your self to have a better day tomorrow. Step 7 will help you to make this a reality.
Steps 5 and 6 will increase your ability to live an aware and positive life, choosing not to be hampered by the past, or overly shaped by the future. The term ‘awareness’ usually refers to the present moment (the power of ‘now’). It is also akin to the popular psychological concept of ‘self-awareness’. However, for thousands of years it has been a core component of Buddhist philosophy, that of developing ‘mindful awareness’. This means the capacity to observe your inner experience in a ‘fully aware’ manner without ‘attachment’. In simple terms this means not holding on too tightly to past feelings; allowing yourself to ‘let go’ of past hurt, disappointments, needs and feelings, in order that you can fully experience this present moment.
Normally when you observe something, the left cortex of your brain gives you a running commentary; this is your ‘Chi’ in action. Mindful awareness requires you just to ‘stare’ and appreciate, receiving information via all your senses, without judgement. Over the years this kind of awareness has been given many names, Adam Smith, a leading philosopher from the eighteenth century, called it ‘the impartial and well informed spectator’. It is the ability to witness your actions, thoughts and emotions as a disinterested observer.
Your ‘Chi’ is a willing guide to help you to increase your awareness of ‘now’ so that you can check your current reality of your Mind Chi BEAT.
Step 5: Be aware
Awareness is the ability to think consciously; to feel or perceive what is happening now: it is the mind’s point of focus at any given moment. If you were asked to become aware of your right foot, you could do so in an instant: immediately the feeling of your right foot comes into your conscious thought. Your right foot has been there all the time but there was no need to be aware of it (unless it was being tickled!).
Becoming aware can also be triggered by events occurring outside your body, as in the case of someone walking into the room while you are reading. Your senses will pick this up and you become aware of that person.
In the Mind Chi Awareness activity, your awareness is brought to four very speciﬁc aspects. By asking a set of questions regarding your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts, you focus your awareness on them at this moment in time. Together they form your Mind Chi BEAT (the acronym is based on the ﬁrst letter of each stage, see page 39).
‘Are you aware?’
Activity 5: Check Your BEAT
To change consciously requires you ﬁrst to have awareness; and then to introduce new directed thoughts. Activity 5 will train your conscious mind to become aware of your mind and body, by asking four important questions.
Set your timer for one minute so you can concentrate on this activity. Bring your attention to the present. Sit quietly for this minute, and tune in by asking yourself and responding to these questions.
1 What is my Body experiencing NOW? I have a bit of a headache and my neck feels tight.
2 What Emotions am I feeling NOW? I am worried and feel under pressure and stressed.
3 What are my Actions NOW? (Or, what was I just doing?) I was gathering some data for a report.
4 What Thoughts am I having NOW? I am battling with all of my priorities, which should I do ﬁrst?
This is the Mind Chi BEAT check. Use it to help increase your self-awareness so that (in the next step) you can make rapid, positive changes to your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts. By focusing your awareness on the here and now, you will begin to live more fully and consciously ‘in the moment’.
Step 5 will bring your awareness to the present moment to help you check how you are currently functioning. Once you have acquired this awareness you can successfully gain control over your reactions to any situation you face.
Step 6: Choose
Every step of the Mind Chi Program is designed to enable you to gain (or regain) control over yourself and your life.
This Mind Chi step focuses on how you choose to use your mental energy. It will make ALL the difference; it is the realization that at this very moment YOU are in control. Nothing and no one else – just YOU! So, take this minute to make sure that you are taking control and choosing what you want to experience now.
When you bring your awareness to your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts, ask yourself: ‘Are they functioning at their best for my productivity and happiness?’
If not, then take the next Mind Chi step to consider what and how you want to change.
You will experience a whole new level of functioning and satisfaction with yourself as you hold the reins of self control. The result is exhilarating and liberating.
Activity 6: Choose Your Beat
Feeling a lack of control is one of the greatest stressors that you can face. For example, when it seems that everything ‘out there’ has it in for you. ‘Choice’ is the point where you choose to regain control and is of critical importance.
You are already aware of your current Mind Chi BEAT (although you may not know it); and you can, at this moment if you so choose, create a different BEAT. You can change your Thoughts, alter your Emotions, slow your Actions and consciously release the tension in your Body. You can make a choice to regain control over yourself. This will enable you to handle any external situation with far greater ease.
If your Mind Chi BEAT is not what you want it to be, then set your timer for one minute so you can concentrate on choosing the BEAT that would be most productive for you. In doing so you will realize that you do have control over your BEAT state.
Look at each one of the four areas, how would you choose them to be? For example:
|1||Body: My head feels clear and my neck relaxed.|
|2||Emotions: I feel calm and focused.|
|3||Action: Keep writing my report.|
|4||Thoughts: I have selected this as my top priority.|
Step 6 is a MOST crucial skill, which is directly related to the ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ ﬁndings of Steps 4 and 5. If you learn to manage and direct your Mind Chi BEAT state you can do and be what you really want. This is another area where your ‘Chi’ may assist. Let your self-talk heighten your awareness of ‘now’, correct the negatives, enhance the positives and create a self-directed future.
The ﬁnal two steps in Mind Chi Basic are designed to help you to develop a ‘realistically positive’ attitude. Even when there are problems to be dealt with, it doesn’t mean that all is bleak. Problems are surmountable and there are always good moments amidst the not-so-good. Taking stock of what IS good helps you to have the necessary energy to face the rest. That is the ‘glass half full’ outlook on life.
This is an important stage – especially for those who habitually think that the worst is going to happen. You don’t have to think that way, so use Step 7 to plan your next 24 hours and accentuate the realistic and truthful positives which you want to have happen.
Step 7: Plan
When you give your ‘Chi’ a sense of direction and a plan to go towards, you automatically increase your momentum. As any truly successful person knows, planning is the secret to success. It is a powerful tool that will assist you to accomplish everything from a simple activity to your life’s purpose. Step 7 will enable you to plan more effectively. Step 8 will encourage you to tune in to your successes and feel gratitude for all that you have achieved, and for the on-going process of improvement. The success of both these stages is dependent upon your attitude and state of mind.
Research has shown that if you take a positive approach to living, your health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com) is better than average and you will live longer! The University of Texas found that people with an upbeat view of life were less likely than pessimists to show signs of frailty. They speculated that positive emotions may directly affect health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com) by altering the chemical balance of the body.
When you are optimistic, your brain creates endorphins, which are natural painkillers: gamma globulin for fortifying your immune system, and interferon for combating infections, viruses, and even battling cancer. Your brain can combine these and other substances into a vast number of tailor-made prescriptions for whatever ails you.
Attitudes are your established ways of responding to people, events and situations. You have learned these based on your beliefs, values and assumptions. Attitude drives your behaviour and can show in your body language. If you plan to think upbeat thoughts, you can send out a message that everyone around you will understand. You will receive feedback such as, ‘You certainly appear to be on top of the world today.’
Success is not dependent upon education, intelligence or title; anyone can choose what their attitude will be at any time. It is a question of adjusting your thinking. The next two Mind Chi processes will help you to take control and responsibility for your thoughts and attitude – so that lasting adjustment and success will follow.
Activity 7: 24-Hour Preview
Your mind responds to your future thoughts in the same way as it does to past or current thoughts. By taking time to plan and project how you want to be in the future, your brain will start to react, think and act as if you have already made those events happen. Remember the saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for, it just might happen’? It is true. Every time you think a thought, you increase the likelihood of it actually happening. You have formed a ‘future memory’ (page 98) within the plasticity of your brain. This is why Step 7 is so important.
Set your timer for one minute so you can concentrate on previewing the next 24 hours of your life. Now create a movie of your next 24 hours as you would like it to be. (It helps to close your eyes when conducting this preview as it cuts out any external visual distractions.)
Take a few deep Mind Chi breaths. Visualize (experience in your mind) all the people you may see, the activities or events you may do. Focus speciﬁcally on how your Body feels when you preview each event. Make is a multi-sensory event; what Emotions you will experience; what positive Actions you will be taking; and the quality of your Thoughts. You are projecting forward your Mind Chi BEAT so that your memory understands that that is the way you wish to respond.
Make sure that your preview is a positive projection of the way you choose things to be, and how you want to have responded to them. This is your chance to set your future attitude and outcomes.
Step 7 will build your energy and the ability to craft your positive activities and responses to the day ahead. This lets your ‘Chi’ know what you want and helps you to make it so!
Step 8: Be Grateful
‘Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.’ – Melody Beattie (author)
Gratitude, thankfulness or appreciation can be for what you have received as well as what you may receive. Psychologists have started to measure gratitude and have crafted eight aspects: appreciation of people; possessions; the present moment; rituals; feelings of awe; social comparisons; existential concerns; and behaviour which expresses gratitude.
There is a real payoff for being grateful; extensive research has shown that you will sleep better, experience less negative stress, feel more ‘in control’ of your life and environment and will be happier! Gratitude is shown to be ‘uniquely important’ in coping with life transitions and appears to be the attitude most likely to improve your overall well being.
Gratitude is like a muscle, so start to get it to work better for you by taking a few minutes, once a week, to write down things for which you are grateful. It is free and you can ﬁnd out for yourself whether it works. You have nothing to lose and a great deal to gain.
Activity 8: Mind Chi – Reﬂect and Project
To appreciate what you have achieved and received there needs to be a time for reﬂection and being grateful. The ﬁnal Mind Chi Basic step is to wrap yourself in a cloak of gratitude. When you take this last minute to reﬂect on everything for which you are grateful, you cull the positives and successes from the last 24 hours as well as projecting your gratitude into the next day.
It allows you to bring into your conscious awareness the good things that are happening daily in your life. It closes the eight minutes with a smile and leaves you with a positive attitude to go about your day.
The purpose of the Gratitude step is to put you into a mindset where you ﬁnd that you do have positive, good things happening to you in many areas of your life. When you are grateful for what life offers you, you reinforce new behaviours as well as the new thought patterns. By shifting the focus away from the negative aspects of a situation you are able to see the positives more clearly. This in turn puts you into a state of mind where your ‘antennae’ will notice more of life’s opportunities and beneﬁ ts.
Set your timer for one minute so you can concentrate on your GRATITUDE. It helps to close your eyes as it cuts out any external visual distractions. As you think over both now and the upcoming 24 hours what things pop in to your mind? ‘I am so grateful that …’ Or, ‘I feel so fortunate that …’ Taking just one minute to complete your Mind Chi eighth step with all that you have to be grateful for, sets you up with a wonderful attitude to be receptive to even more areas of gratitude!
Step 8 will energize your mind to appreciate all the wonders that have come and will come your way over the next 24 hours. This increases your chance of making them a reality; additionally you feel better right now!
|Mind Chi FAQS|
|Q||I have such a hectic day, when can I do my Mind Chi Basic?|
|A||Even with the busiest day, you have to go to bed sometime! If|
|you have not been able to create time for eight Mind Chi minutes during the day, then start Mind Chi Steps 1 and 2 as you lie in bed.|
|If you can, do Mind Chi 3 and 4 as well (the unhelpful and positive|
|reviews of the past 24 hours) as it is still fresh in your mind. Then, when you wake up the next morning, do your Mind Chi Breath|
|Q A||and continue where you left off. What if I miss a day (or two)? Just carry on! If it happens, smile and say, ‘I choose to continue|
|today’ and extend the Mind Chi Basic days on your diary (Tracker,|
|page 329). In order for a new habit to ‘stick’, it is preferable to continue the practice for 28 consecutive days – but if you were to|
|Q A||miss a couple of days, just add those days on at the end. Must I do Step 3 – the ‘unhelpful/negative’ review? Yes, because you have much to learn from the ‘negative’ or ‘un|
|helpful’ review. It brings any negativity to your attention and will|
|help you to improve management of your ‘Chi’ self-talk. Negative (‘unhelpful’) body reactions, emotions, actions or thoughts are|
|depleting your energy. By increasing your awareness of them,|
|you think of coping strategies and start to put them into action as you plan your next 24 hours, before too much energy has been|
|Q A||Can I use the Mind Chi BEAT throughout the day? Yes! Please do. It is such a powerful way to check in to what is|
|happening inside you, allowing you to grab the reins of control|
|and respond in the way that is least damaging to your body and|
|leads to the most efﬁcient use of your energy.|
|Q||Why do I do the Mind Chi eight steps for 28 days?|
|A||Because it takes 28 days to create a new neural network or habit.|
|After this you may ﬁnd that you are naturally doing some of the|
|steps as they are needed throughout the day: especially the Mind|
|Chi Breath (page 46) and your Mind Chi BEAT (page 39).|
|Q||What can I expect once I have practised my Mind Chi Basic|
|for 28 days?|
|A||Mind Chi Basic is the foundation of the Mind Chi Program. In 28|
|days you will have regained control over yourself. You will be able|
1 Negate the effects of negative stress by using the Mind Chi Breath. 2 Focus your concentration as and when you desire through Mind Chi ‘One’. 3 Check and choose your BEAT (Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts) to gain control over yourself and your reactions. 4 Balance any negative memories from the past 24 hours and harness the joy of your successes.
5 Project what you do want to experience in the future and remember all the things for which you are grateful, enabling you to live the life you choose.
All that from your commitment of just eight minutes a day – what a return on investment!
‘Chi’ using the supports above
Chapter 5 – Mind Chi Maps Chapter 6 – Create your own Mind Chi Plan Chapter 7 – Mind Chi in Action Chapter 8 – Mind Chi Change
About maps How to map Map applications Map terminology
The use of maps in your Mind Chi Program is one of the four enabling Mind Chi methods. We have included them to make the whole Mind Chi process as easy for you as we can. Mapping ideas, in whatever way works for you – by hand or on the computer – is the best technique there is to organize your thoughts and maximize the ﬂow of your mental energy.
A map emulates the workings of your brain. It uses the basic brain and memory function of association and it uses the skills of both the left and the right cortex. It is like a direct line to you mind and, as such, aids all your thinking processes.
Maps have been around for thousands of years. Cavemen in Africa used pictorial maps before the birth of language. Since the 1950s maps have become more sophisticated and commonly used in both business and education. Technology has spread the acceptance of mapping by creating map software, for which there are numerous suppliers.
Many of you will use some form of mapping technique already. For those of you who are unfamiliar with mapping, or who would like some additional ideas, here is a quick introduction to this magniﬁ cently simple and profound process.
You will see that we have used a form of map to graphically illustrate the Mind Chi Basic, 50 Strategies for Success and Mind Chi Applied; in fact we used maps to organize and write this book. The maps provide the essence of the information.
Mapping is easy:
1 Turn a blank sheet of paper sideways (landscape) and draw an image of the idea, problem, concept or feeling you want to explore in the centre of the page. If you prefer, use a combined word and image (a ‘wimage’!). An image is important as it helps to activate more of your brain’s responses.
2 Next draw several ‘arms’ or branches growing out from your central image, long enough to hold a four letter word (approximately). These empty branches will stimulate your brain to want to put something on them (your brain loves completion!).
3 As you think of key topics triggered by the central word/image or ‘wimage’, write them down as key words or as very short phrases. Use capital letters, and make sure you write ON the line. The concepts are IMPORTANT and the underlining and capitals will remind you of that.
4 As you think of further ideas related to the initial topic, add further branches to your map, making a bare tree-like structure. Your brain will start to ‘bloom’ with associated ideas and actions and your thought processes will ‘ﬂow’ outwards. Your map will capture the process, so that you have a permanent record of your thoughts and state of mind.
5 If you ﬁnd you grind to a halt, add doodles and images on and around your words; add some extra empty lines; get creative with colour. Your brain will soon provide more words! Voila! You have mapped!
The uses for mapping are limitless. They speed up your thinking process to make whatever you are doing more efﬁcient and more enjoyable. Use mapping to make yourself Mind Chi-efﬁ cient.
We have created maps to illustrate each of the 50 Mind Chi Strategies for Success in Part 3. They are designed to show the dynamic tension between your current reality and the movement towards your desired goal.
Throughout the book we recommend using bloom, mini-, multi-, mega- or full maps as the best way to motivate yourself into action. This Mind Chi Method reﬂects the way your brain operates and is therefore the natural way to assist you to manage and direct your thinking.
You will soon discover the beneﬁts of mapping for yourself. Maps can:
All levels of map have the same basic structure, that of a radiant hierarchy (from the centre outwards) and, without the words or images, look like the bare branches of a tree. However, various mapping terms have speciﬁc meanings, summarized here for your reference:
• Bloom – When you put a word/image (‘wimage’) in the centre of your new map and capture associated key words on the branches you have drawn, you are creating a ‘bloom’ of associations that are based on your own unique experiences. Your thought ‘bloom’ reﬂ ects the development of a ﬂower: just as petals open and bloom from the centre of the plant, so too your thoughts open and bloom from the central topic on your page. This technique is particularly good for clarifying your thoughts; aiding communication; understanding MIS-understanding; developing negotiations; and deﬁ ning abstract feelings – especially in close relationships. A ‘bloom’ of thoughts will show you (and others) the aspects that are of greatest importance to you. A ‘bloom’ tends to de-personalize the subject – useful if emotions are running a bit high – and can greatly enhance levels of mutual understanding.
because of maps – that is; the detectives pieced together the clues, solved the crime and found the culprits using a mega-map!)
You are invited to use some form of mapping in many of the Mind Chi Plans; the Strategies for Success (page 142) frequently refer to this powerful process as a step towards solving a problem or achieving a goal.
Mind Chi Plan creation
Mind Chi Meme
Can you immediately think of an area that you would like to ‘ﬁ x’ or improve in yourself? If you have issues you want to address, look at the map of Strategies for Success in Part 3 (page 135) to see the topics we have covered. Have we covered your concern? If you select one of the 50 topics, then this chapter will help you understand how they are constructed and how to amend one if necessary. If your desired topic is not there, this chapter will tell you how to create your own Mind Chi Plan and craft your personal Strategy for Success. Each Mind Chi Plan is a tried and tested Strategy for Success: the ‘what’ of your new goal. It includes:
Following is a blank Mind Chi Plan – your key to future success. We will explain each element so you can see how and why the plans are constructed as they are. Turn also to the 50 Strategies for Success (page 135) where we have already ﬁ lled in the plans for you.
Current reality Transform meme Goal
______________ Emotions Emotions ______________
______________ Actions Actions ______________
The Mind Chi Plan template
The Mind Chi Plan
The Mind Chi Plan is a reﬂection of the structural tension that exists between what you have (your current reality) and what you want (your future goal). In order to turn one state into the other, a process of TRANSFORMATION needs to take place in the ‘now’: the centre point of your life. Your new Mind Chi Meme is written in this box, to focus and direct your attention towards your goal.
On the left side of the plan add your Current BEAT (Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts): all the things that you may say, experience, feel, do and think – now.
On the right side add your goals BEAT: all the things that you want to say, experience, feel, do and think – in the future.
At any one moment you are changing your now and creating your future. This point of transformation assimilates the power your inner voice ‘Chi’ and ﬂexible focus (being able to look at your current reality and then look at your goal). Attuning what you think and say to your future goal will propel you forward (in the direction of the arrows). The Mind Chi Program will help you to transform yourself to create the future that you really want.
Your Current Reality and Mind Chi Goal
You probably have a clear picture either of what you want to move away from (a problem area) or of what you want to move towards (a goal). In the top, left-hand box write the undesired state and in the top, right-hand box write the desired state. This is your Mind Chi Goal. This is a short, positive statement that encapsulates the desired outcome. For example: ‘To be the best sales person in the team this quarter.’
You need to choose and write your own Mind Chi Goal to ﬁ t your speciﬁc and personal plan. You can use one of the Strategies for Success supplied and simply update and amend any aspect that does not ring true for you.
As you observe both your current reality and your future goal you will already start to feel the push from the negative side and the pull from the positive side as those arrows pull you from left to right. (If you feel ‘stuck’ use your Mind Chi Breath activity to help you to relax and focus on your new goal – page 46.)
The phrase TRANSFORM MEME is placed between the two extremes to remind you that you are transforming yourself. Inside the box is the inspirational phrase that you will use to reinforce your intention to reach your goal.
Flexible focus is the dynamic process used to propel you towards your ultimate goal. Your current reality will keep changing, whereas your Mind Chi Goal will remain a constant target. As you change, you need to keep updating the current reality BEAT on your plan. The structural tension pulls you closer to your goal and you will become aware of your progress. Keep ﬂexible; keep feeling that push from the negative side and the pull from the positive. Let yourself stay in the Mind Chi ﬂ ow towards success.
Your current reality BEAT (left column)
Fill in at least three descriptive words on each branch of the left column to describe your current feelings in relation to your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts. Three words encourage you to give each aspect considered thought.
Take some time to really feel the reality of your current situation. Make yourself aware of how much you want to be ‘out of there’. Now you are experiencing the negative push, exacerbating the desire to push yourself away from that situation.
Your goal BEAT (right column)
Fill in at least three descriptive words on each branch of the right column to describe how you would ideally like to feel in relation to your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts. This is your desired future state of being. The reason for selecting at least three means that you have given each area considered thought.
Consider carefully, what do you really want? How would your Body function; how would you feel Emotionally; what Actions and Thoughts would you want to have achieved when you reach your goal?
Please note the considered use of the word ‘when’ you have achieved your goal. There is no question of doubt; no ‘if’. By noting these words ‘as though’ you are experiencing the state of having achieved your goal in the present, you are reporting what it is like in your new reality.
Take some time to make sure the words convey what you really do want. Keep them positive. Put them on, as if they were of the ﬁ nest material, feel them slip over you and make you smile. Luxuriate in the experience at a multi-sensory level; make it as real as you possibly can. Feel the pull of the positive goal. Remember that as you do this, it is real in your brain, you have already, at one level, ‘made it so’!
Notice that there are arrows between each Body, Emotion, Action and Thought branches. These set up and reinforce the dynamic and structural tension between the two states of present and future (page 265).
In the centre of your Mind Chi Plan is an image of your ‘Chi’ to remind you that all of this is directed by your willpower and your volition; supported by your Mind Chi BEAT for your well-being NOT your destruction.
To assist you to describe your Body and Emotional ‘haves’ for the current reality (left side) and ‘wants’ for the goal (right side) please see the lists below. Think about the best you will experience and put those words on the appropriate branches on the right side of your map. Negatives should appear only on the left side of your map. These may be a part of your current reality but have no place in your desired future.
Your new mode of positive Mind Chi thinking is crucial to your Mind Chi success. There is a new term that is becoming increasingly popular; it is a ‘meme’. A meme is a nugget of information which can be replicated in your own mind and shared with others. It is important to provide your ‘Chi’ with an upbeat and encouragingly life-changing phrase that reprograms your self-talk and supports your new Mind Chi habit. This will gradually replace any old and negative self-talk that was holding back your progress.
Some care needs to be taken as you craft this phrase as you are giving a command directly to you brain. The phraseology is important and needs to be expressed in the correct ‘brain language’. (Practitioners of NLP and hypnotherapy will recognize the importance of these guidelines, now supported by scientiﬁ c research.)
|1||The ﬁ rst part of your thought must be expressed as ‘I’ (you may|
|add your name here as well if you wish extra emphasis);|
|2||The next word must be ‘choose’, because you need to let your|
|mind (Chi) know that it is your choice.|
|3||‘Choose’ is followed by ‘to’;|
|4||The ﬁnal part of your Mind Chi Meme needs to be the desired|
For example: Mind Chi Meme: ‘I choose to improve my negotiation skills.’
NEVER write what you don’t want because your brain cannot process a ‘not’. (Always write what you do want to have happen!)
We will show you how this works. Promise, right now, that you will not think about what you are not to think about. OK? So do NOT think about a blue elephant in a pink tutu … and?? Dancing in your head right now is a lovely blue elephant and if you put a cross through him, he is still there; or if you change him to green, he is STILL there!! So, you see – your brain cannot do a not!
Where were you? Ah, yes, express your desired outcome in positive, measurable and speciﬁ c terms.
Be careful of statements such as ‘I choose to be slimmer’ – where does that end? It is potentially life-threatening. You might have to take your goal up a level. What is the greater goal than being slim? To be radiantly health(Buy now from http://www.drugswell.com)y or to be your perfect size? Yes. Good! (Perfect size, page 118)
To sum up, your Mind Chi Meme says: ‘I choose to … (positive outcome)’.
Authors’ Mind Chi Plans
The following two Mind Chi Plan examples were used by the authors to help write the book – and to keep us in shape whilst writing. We have elected to keep the two Mind Chi Plans for several months to keep us focused on our long-term goals.